|"The valley is very narrow, and in part the mountains which enclose it are perilously steep, and all are inaccessible, not only for men, but also for goats and deer."|
Fray Juan Crespi, scribe of the Portola Expedition of 1769,|
describing their passage through the Northern Santa Lucia
the Santa Lucia Mountains
Junipero Serra Peak
Noble Pico Blanco
Test Your Topographic Know-How
Anderson Canyon Trail
Johnson Canyon Camp
Fall Equinox '98
Summer Solstice '98
The ocean swelled for a far storm and beat its boundary, the ground-swell shook the beds of granite."
From "Continent's End," by Robinson Jeffers
Although it was a less than remarkable winter by recent standards, the coming of spring this year is still a wonderful and much anticipated event. As you read these words the last real rain of the season may be falling, and rising to the tune are wildflowers everywhere. Buds are swelling on backcountry branches and the grasses are growing with such vernal vigor that if one lays quietly enough with eyes closed and mind stilled they can almost be heard in their skyward struggle. Its difficult to pick favorites, but this time of year is pretty hard to beat in the Ventana Wilderness.
Amazingly, this Spring Equinox issue of the DCQ marks our first year of publication. In that time much has changed and, we like to think, even improved a little. Perhaps the most obvious change since the last issue rolled out is that of the Ventana Wilderness Alliance finally getting its own internet domain name - http://www.ventanawild.org - where we can be found from now until eternity. If you haven't yet changed your bookmark, now might be a good time to do so.
Another very positive change here at the Quarterly is the addition of David Rogers to the editorial board. Anyone who's been reading the DCQ for a while will recognize him as the author of the indepth studies of the Santa Lucia Fir that have graced the last two issues. Lest he get pigeonholed merely as an Abies expert, for this issue he's come up with a fine article about the Bedstraws of the Santa Lucia Mountains as the first in a series about the unique and noteworthy plants of the Santa Lucia. Welcome, David, we're honored to have you aboard.
Also from the vegetable kingdom comes another informative article by Dave Nelson detailing the wicked influx of invasive exotic plants into our wildlands. This quarter Dave cuts deeply into Cape Ivy, a particularly heinous foe of local biodiversity.
And on the fauna front, aspiring naturalist Tessa Libby has kindly shared with us her recent report on the habits and homelife of the tarantula, originally prepared and presented to the panel of distinguished scholars in her 4th grade class at the Gateway School in Santa Cruz.
And there's more -- much more. Just click your way down the list to the left, and when you're finished please let us know what you think.
Enjoy the season,
The Double-Cone Quarterly is published four times a year, on the equinoxes and solstices, by the Ventana Wilderness Alliance and can be obtained free of charge by anyone with an internet connection who steers their browser to http://www.ventanawild.org/news/news.html.